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Paul Krugman at The New York Times in The Twinkie Manifesto:

[T]he demise of Hostess has unleashed a wave of baby boomer nostalgia for a seemingly more innocent time.

Needless to say, it wasn’t really innocent. But the ’50s—the Twinkie Era—do offer lessons that remain relevant in the 21st century. Above all, the success of the postwar American economy demonstrates that, contrary to today’s conservative orthodoxy, you can have prosperity without demeaning workers and coddling the rich.

E.J. Dionne Jr. at the Washington Post writes about Obama and the end of decline. He seems to be expecting an awful lot from the president in the healing-the-nation's-divisions department in his column:
Across ideological lines, Americans stuck in this downward spiral experience decline not as an abstract issue but as a reality in their own lives. They ask why it is that the country seemed to do a better job of spreading opportunity around 40 years ago than it does now.

Speeding the general economic recovery will solve some of these problems, but Obama needs an unapologetically large and unified program of economic uplift, including policies on taxes, education, training and infrastructure investment. He should also look to how new approaches to innovation, unionization, immigration, trade, research and science can contribute to both growth and justice.

Obama has already talked about elements of such a program but he needs to go bigger, pull the pieces together and make the New Prosperity the central objective of his second term.

Successes in half those arenas, successes that truly improve the lives of those who most need them, would have a lot of Americans clamoring for repeal of the 22nd Amendment.

Russ Douthat at The New York Times, on the other hand, in The Liberal Gloat, thinks the euphoric Schadenfreude of liberals following the election two weeks ago is pretty awful since, he implies, it is founded on American decline, not progress.

Greg Mitchell at The Nation writes My Son, Age 25, Has Never Been Around for a Cooler-Than-Average Month:

Here’s hoping that changes—before he’s my age. If it takes that long, I guess he will not be living in LA but far in the interior as the ocean covers the coast. Hollywood in Vegas?
Leonard Pitts, Jr. at The Baltimore Sun sums up The sad state of zealots with microphones and takes a bite out of them:
America, you are an idiot.

You are a moocher, a zombie, soulless, mouth-breathing, ignorant, greedy, self-indulgent, envious, shallow and lazy.

The foregoing is a summation of "analysis" from conservative pundits and media figures—Cal Thomas, Ted Nugent, Bill O'Reilly, et cetera—seeking to explain Mitt Romney's emphatic defeat. They seem to have settled on a strategy of blaming the voters for not being smart enough or good enough to vote as they should have. Because America wasn't smart enough or good enough, say these conservatives, it shredded the Constitution, bear-hugged chaos, French-kissed socialism, and died.

Michael Kinsley at the Miami Herald in The media’s scandalous polling conspiracy is a little late to the obvious conclusion that the "entire drama of a close election, as played out in the news media on Election Day and evening, is basically fake."

Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed at The Independent writes in Fracking: A new dawn for misplaced optimism that shale gas isn't quite the boon some industry shills make it out to be:

US energy consultants Ruud Weijermars and Crispian McCredie say there is strong "basis for reasonable doubts about the reliability and durability of US shale gas reserves." The New York Times found that state geologists, industry lawyers and market analysts privately questioned "whether companies are intentionally, and even illegally, overstating the productivity of their wells and the size of their reserves." And former UK chief government scientist Sir David King has concluded that the industry had overstated world oil reserves by about a third. In Nature, he dismissed notions that a shale gas boom would avert an energy crisis, noting that production at wells drops by as much as 90 per cent within the first year.
Gail Collins at The New York Times writes Anybody Notice a Pattern?:
Romney supporters couldn’t believe that they had lost fairly. The Maine Republican chairman was breathlessly reporting that “dozens, dozens of black people” had mysteriously shown up to vote in rural areas.

Now things are calmer—perhaps because, if they want to, Republicans can just blame everything on Romney’s poor campaign skills. Really terrible skills! Maybe the worst presidential candidate in American history! Well, possibly not worse than Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, who got only 8 percent of the electoral vote against Thomas Jefferson. But Thomas Jefferson had the Louisiana Purchase. If Barack Obama had bought Manitoba, Republicans would have understood his winning.

And actually not quite as bad as John McCain, who got fewer electoral votes when he lost in 2008 than Romney just got.

Nate Cohn at The New Republic writes For the GOP, It's Colorado or Bust by 2016:
Perhaps no state captures the challenges facing Republicans better than Colorado. The changes in the composition of the two parties over the last decade have almost exclusively worked to the advantage of Democrats in Colorado, who reap the benefits of a growing Hispanic population and gains among well-educated, socially moderate suburbanites without suffering the losses among white Southern and Appalachian voters that cut against their gains in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. As a result, Colorado voted slightly more for the president over the last two elections than the nation as a whole, even though the state leaned Republican in all but one presidential election since 1948.
Aaron Belkin at the New York Daily News writes in The last taboo: American power that the focus on the salacious scandal surrounding Gen. David Petraeus, his jealous mistress, the Tampa socialite and the shirtless FBI agent hides more than it reveals:
The story that should have captured our attention long ago is Petraeus’ central role in a series of high-stakes policies—among them escalating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, converting the CIA into a paramilitary organization and killing people with drones without any due process. The general-turned-CIA agent is an emblem of American military spending—and of our often haphazard use of power around the world.
Chris Lehmann at In These Times notes Weak Teavangelicals that 94-year-old Billy Graham's ad campaign to protect "traditional marriage" just didn't take this year. A fluke? Or a sign of the times :
Long-term trends in opinion polling suggest that the evangelical Right would have been hard-pressed to repeat the Kulturkampf clamor to the ballot box that Reed famously engineered to help George W. Bush over the top in 2004. [...]

In a survey released this September by the Washington-based non-profit Public Religion Research Institute, white working-class Americans—i.e., wage-earning workers without a four-year college diploma, who are the traditional recruiting corps for evangelical political leaders—voiced a striking disinterest in the culture wars. Just one in 20 of the respondents to the Institute’s national phone survey reported that “either abortion (3 percent) or same-sex marriage (2 percent) is the most important issue to their vote,” while 53 percent cited the economy. And drilling down on matters of economic policy, the poll found that “white working-class Americans display a strong strain of economic populism.”

Elizabeth DiNovella at The Progressive says in Walker Takes Leadership Position at Republican Governors Association that more attention should be paid to the RGA because it has played a major role not only in keeping Scott Walker in office in Wisconsin but in the elections of 2010 and 2012 that now gives the GOP a 30-20 edge in governorships.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Broken link. (5+ / 0-)

    The very first link is broken, it links back to a place called Daily Kos.

    Seems familiar somehow.

  •  American decline (7+ / 0-)

    Fashionable.  Scary.  Ooooh.

    The main symptom of American decline I see: endless war.  Odd that no one ever mentions that in either party.

    "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

    by Rikon Snow on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:49:52 AM PST

  •  Washington Journal on CSPAN this morning is (14+ / 0-)

    an 'all Republican call in' special about 'the future of the GOP', and based on the callers, it's doom.  It's like listening to Redstate - one caller will suggest that the extent of his grasp of politics is that 'several states want to secede'  (and, of course, the program's talking head doesn't bother to correct him and point out that it's only a few thousand individuals in the states, not the millions that actually live there), and the next will say the problem with the GOP is that they 'listen to all of these talking heads telling them to move left', and that they need to move to the right.

    If the ignorance on display from even those Republicans who bother to watch C-SPAN and interact, the GOP is indeed doomed.

    If they really want to be a national party in future, they have to start ditching ideology in favour of actually doing things that work.  Find evidence, and lose programs that simply do not work, like abstinence education, and figure out how to actually reduce teen pregnancy, even if it involves things that make the party prudes swoon.

    •  Ha!......skewed polls....conspiracy theories..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Remediator, glitterscale

      obstruction.....vaginal probes.....Sean Hannity.......feck 'em.

    •  well Dr, the problem is that those people (9+ / 0-)

      who were listening to CSPAN, and could i suppose, be considered the more erudite of their base, and at least 1000 times saner than their real base. And they're still insane.

      Look, I don't know what they're going to do. They're engaged in decades of systematic brainwashing. It's not easily undone. Rubio and Christie and Jindal are already TRYING desperately to sound sane. They know what's up. But what are they going to do about that base of theirs?

      If the relatively "sane" CSPAN listeners are saying "move right", that means the mouth-breathers are....oh, that's right....talking secession.

      I wil personally contribute $5 to the first GOP presidential primary candidate that says, "abstinence education doesn't work. outcomes are actually worse where that's all kids get."

      Pfft. Not going to happen and yes, I believe they're done as a party. Not because the party leaders don't get it, but because the base is brainwashed (literally) by a media complex whose goals are now directly in opposition to the interests of the GOP. Rush will not shut up. Fox needs hysterical CTs as headlines. They cannot moderate or they lose their audience and the revenues that come from it. The GOP is stuck.

      For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

      by mdmslle on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:29:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  'am very encouraged by that assessment. (6+ / 0-)

        And the GOP deserves just that outcome.  

        The base is going to pull down a lot of potential candidates who might otherwise make a few key strides.  And FOX would lose audience if it didn't pimp crazy and subversive viewpoints.  

        Tough spot for the Republicans.  

        And I wish them all the chaos, hurt feelings, and denial they've earned.

      •  Their base is their problem (5+ / 0-)

        The GOP Insiders and "bag men" think that doubling down on "Kindler, Gentler" or "Compassionate Conservativism" full spectrum media buys and MSM "discussion" Show talking points is going to "fix" most of what they want to believe is the problem.

        They ignore the reality that the base they have cultivated for over three decades has effective veto power over most nominations. Which means that Angles, Akins, Mourdocks, O'Donnells etc. will continue being the lion's share of nominations for offices at all levels for the next couple of election cycles.

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:45:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Someone needs to call (5+ / 0-)

    a Whambulence for Russ Douthat.

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:51:03 AM PST

  •  Gail Collins is (11+ / 0-)

    not visiting the right wing of the Republican party on the issue of Romney's "loss" (as they would characterize it).  They are still absolutely certain that fraud was the only reason he came up short.  

    Fox is still all Bengazhi all the time, and once again, the Overton window is being shoved right on the issues of taxes and "entitlements."  It's time to send every Democratic congressperson a copy of FDR's New New Deal speech.  And get labor represented on the reporting of economic news.  There is an economy outside of Wall Street and it's time the US media discovered that fact.

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:51:05 AM PST

  •  I do believe (11+ / 0-)

    that E.J. Dionne has pulled out a very nice phrase to describe Democratic economic programs and aspirations that we ought to repeat liberally.  The New Prosperity.  Doesn't that have a nice ring?  Organize proposals for clean energy, technology incubators, education support and reduction in income disparity around that mantra, and you have a nice platform.  Especially when you fill it out with the images of the Democratic coalition of ALL the people of America.  An inclusive prosperity, not just the old rule of prosperity for white men who are then expected to share it around.  The NEW Prosperity means prosperity and equality for women, for black people and brown people and people with disabilities and people who march in Gay Pride parades.  Prosperity for EVERYONE.

    Jus' sayin'.  If someone hands you a great slogan on a silver platter, take it and run!

  •  I am assuming (8+ / 0-)

    radical cleric Franklin Graham is the one waging war on civil rights via marriage and not the elderly Billy (though I'm no fan of his either).  

    Here's what I don't understand: How is gay marriage a bigger threat to the Christian view of traditional marriage than divorce or (according to St. Paul) women  not taking a submissive role in marriage?  I think they should rage against all three, endlessly : )  That should effectively marginalize them pretty much everywhere except small towns in Alabama (no offense to the good people there).

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 04:54:01 AM PST

  •  Just wanna say I am still delighted! (6+ / 0-)

    I am still delighted with the election outcome. I was really happy when Kennedy won but at the time I didn't really know why except that Nixon looked creepy and my grandmother wanted a Catholic president. I know why Obama's election makes me happy in very concrete terms and why the idea of Romney/Ryan scared the shit out of me.

    Last night Nova covered the super storm Sandy....I highly recommend watching it. While the budget cliff and Gaza and all the immediate problems are critically important it is about time our leaders take the long term health of the planet seriously.

  •  I was stunned this morning by a lte (11+ / 0-)

    in my paper (online version doesn't seem to have it).  It is written by a republican and entitled "GOP isn't realistic about the facts".  

    A logical conservative party would accept that the country supports secular gay marriage, [and would] ensure that churches would not be forced to marry anyone they did not want to and move on.

    A logical conservative party would accept evolution for the fact that it is.  A logical conservative party would fight for the right of the people to pass pro-life laws but would not refuse to condemn members that say atrocious things about rape.

    The writers goes on to say he left the presidential spot on his ballot blank this year and hoped that maybe he could reconsider voting for a presidential candidate in 2016.

    Huge statement from this particularly red county.

    But, not to worry...two letters down was one from a motorcyclist who is flying the American flag on the back of his bike at half staff (morning the loss of someone) and upside down (indicating a vessel is in imminent danger) just so everyone will know how we have disgraced this country by re-electing Obama.

    This is more like it.  Just what I've come to expect around here.

    Have a great day, everybuddy ;~D

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:02:22 AM PST

    •  Uh Oh - a sane Republican. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, JaxDem, snazzzybird

      This could cause the party even more indigestion - especially if GOP party leaders are intent on denying the legitimacy of his views and maintaining their admiration for the motorcyclist's perspective.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:09:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah the Drama of a Close Election Line Was Fake (6+ / 0-)

    But Romney - Ryan bought it, Big Time.

    "Here comes the landslide" Dick Morris

    by wild hair on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:02:51 AM PST

  •  Hundreds, perhaps thousands of women are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow, Remediator

    threatened every day on the internet via email, facebook, twitter, etc., yet only if they have a flirting relationship with a topless FBI agent will the authorities look into it.  That is the Real Scandal exposed by the Petreaus/Broadwell/Kelley triangle.

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

    by ratcityreprobate on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:05:52 AM PST

  •  A message problem (4+ / 0-)

    The Republican Party is in the most precarious position a political party can find itself in; namely, rooting for failure. The entire 2012 campaign was based on convincing voters that the country was doomed, Obama had killed the American Dream, and they might as well hand it to the Republicans for a managed liquidation and to help the rich make a few more bucks...just for kicks This is not a message that people struggling to make it and who are still aspirational for their future and their children s future want to hear. The GOP does not have a candidate problem, they have a message problem. All of the shiny new faces the media loves to talk about -- Rubio, Christie, etc -- won't change the fact that the GOP is keeping beyond arms length a huge chunk of the electorate, from minorities to the working poor. This is a recipe for extinction.  -  progressive

  •  McCain did get fewer electoral votes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Just 173 to Romney's 206, but as of this writing McCain still got more votes than Romney, about 500,000 more.

  •  Funny how Krugman is more right than not----and (5+ / 0-)

    still not enough are heeding his words....

    •  As Nate Silver can attest, being right does not (5+ / 0-)

      make you popular with politicians and the media.

      "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

      by Rikon Snow on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:14:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Krugman has been demonized by the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, Phil S 33

      Republicans and the teevee talking heads - even the Democratic talking heads - and his message pooh-poohed simply because it doesn't fit with the conventional narrative.  There has been so much weight thrown behind the idea that the deficit will be the country's undoing (although no one ever explains why; they just assume the public will internalize what happens to a family that doesn't have enough income to pay their bills each month) that his message of "spend more to put people to work, which is the only sure way to grow the economy and bring down the deficit in the long run" is lost in the wailing.

      He also insists on mentioning that it is against rich folks' interests to have the government meddling in the fight for jobs that keeps wages low and fixes the economy in an "employer's market."  That doesn't endear him to a business community that doesn't want the public focusing on that tactic.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:53:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The 1950s are long gone. (0+ / 0-)

      Back then, America was the only game in town for manufacturing. Europe and Asia were in shambles from the second World War and Latin America was not a viable manufacturing option.

      Today there is global competition for factories and workers. Taxes, salaries, and benefits affect where investors set up their businesses.

      I think Krugman is comparing apples to oranges. A 90% top tax rate is not a viable option in the 21st Century.

      If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

      by HairyTrueMan on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:50:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Billy Graham is 94 years old?! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle, Egalitare, bontemps2012

    My stars.

    His ideology doesn't sound a day over the mid-Middle Ages.

    No, wait -- that's his son.  How old is he?

  •  Most people believe that Billy Graham... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, here4tehbeer

    ...is now simply a living "talisman" that Franklin Graham uses as needed.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:27:29 AM PST

  •  Blame the workers for a failing business (3+ / 0-)

    model. We're used to that here in Pittsburgh. Where many still blame the workers for the demise of the steel industry. Even though the ascendant Asian steel makers were producing steel with 2/3s less energy than their American competition.

    America could have stayed in the steel business but it would have required retooling and modernization of all the steel plants. And nobody felt like doing that. The owners were already rich, why would they bother? So blame the unions.

    Not that the unions were completely blameless but they were stuck in a failing business model and there wasn't much they could do about it.

    It looks to me like it's the same with Hostess. Smaller regional bakeries are more efficient and cost effective. When it costs more to deliver the product than it takes to make the product, you got big problems.  

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:38:47 AM PST

    •  As I've read it, though, Hostess WAS local. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, MKSinSA

      Or at least had many local bakeries that were slashed in some ill-conceived cost cutting moves that came back to bite them.

      Anyway, I imagine whoever buys the patents and trademarks will be going back to local bakeries and farming out production on a custom basis.

      Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

      by Bush Bites on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:53:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is precisely why we need to emulate (0+ / 0-)

      the German model of requiring inclusion of Labor representation on businesses' Boards of Directors.

      Not that the unions were completely blameless but they were stuck in a failing business model and there wasn't much they could do about it.
      Until the voice of Labor is included in business decision-making, there is no reason for wealthy owners to inconvenience themselves beyond squeezing every last dime of profit from a company and throwing the workers to the wolves.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:17:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  White working class economic populism, huh? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, BlackSheep1

    You know, I remember a time when "regular guys" in beat-up Pintos had bumper stickers that said "Nationalize Oil."

    Can we get to that time again?

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:49:24 AM PST

  •  Oh yeah, I have to add... (0+ / 0-)

    Cheers to Ravens 13, Steelers 10.   I think the Ravens would have run the score up farther, but were too busy laughing at those uniforms.

    "It is not, you fucking liberal prick." ..My RW friend Dave's last words to me.

    by rb608 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:51:23 AM PST

  •  Pitts:Conservative and progressive pundits really (0+ / 0-)

    are the same.

    If an election comes out badly, the voters are stupid.

    Surprise.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:44:26 AM PST

  •  I have an answer for them. (0+ / 0-)
    They ask why it is that the country seemed to do a better job of spreading opportunity around 40 years ago than it does now.
    Reaganomics.

    It sucked then. It sucks now. Time to kill it.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:18:15 AM PST

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